Heartland, Dakotas leagues back pro-consumer S. 2155

March 5, 2018

As the Senate prepares to consider the CUNA-backed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), the Heartland Credit Union Association and the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas wrote to local papers to tout the positive effects the bill will have on credit unions and consumers.

Despite attempts to frame the bill as a gift to Wall Street, Heartland Credit Union Association President/CEO Brad Douglas said the bill is exactly what communities and small businesses need in pieces that appeared in The Missouri Times and the Topeka Capital-Journal.

“Small businesses that provide key services to consumers and serve as the backbone of our communities depend on credit unions and small banks to provide the loans they need to succeed. Consumers also count on these small community-based financial institutions when they need a car loan or a mortgage,” Douglas wrote. “Getting these loans to the people who need them most has become harder and harder, due to regulatory restrictions on local financial institutions. It’s time to right-size regulations and fix the unintended consequences created by Washington bureaucracy.”

Douglas also highlighted other consumer-friendly provisions in the bill that would empower credit unions to spend time and resources to better serve members, give consumers better and more efficient ways to purchase a home, protect senior citizens and direct the Treasury to study cybercrime.

In Inforum, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas president/CEO Jeff Olson wrote of the need for the bill, citing CUNA’s regulatory burden study.

“Credit union regulatory burden alone have increased to an ‘elevated new normal,’ totaling an estimated $6.1 billion lend according to a study commissioned by the Credit Union National Association in 2017. That translates to $115 per credit union household,” Olson wrote. “For North Dakota that burden has a more devastating impact, costing credit union member households $189 per year. According to the study that's the second highest in the nation, where members in the District of Columbia brunt the burden at $265 per household.”